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Thursday, Mar 14, 2013 Happy π day!

  

Sniper Elite 3 Announcement

The official Sniper Elite 3 announcement rolled out to fill in a few of the blanks about the just-revealed sharpshooting sequel, including a confirmation of PC support for the follow-up, which they say will offer "a more refined gameplay experience and a brand new storyline." Here's word:

Rebellion and 505 Games are proud to announce that work has begun on the sequel to their hit game, Sniper Elite V2.

Slated for release in 2014, The team is currently focusing on creating all-new environments, a more refined gameplay experience and a brand new storyline. Sniper Elite 3 is being developed for current and next gen platforms as well as PC.

Sniper Elite 3 will continue the story of elite OSS sniper Karl Fairburne during World War II. Sniper Elite V2 was the surprise hit of last year, introducing millions of gamers to its mix of tense atmosphere and intense action.

“Sniper Elite V2 has been a great success for us and we are thrilled to partner with Rebellion on Sniper Elite 3," said Ian Howe, president, 505 Games North America. “Fans can look forward to the same heart-pounding action they have come to expect from a Sniper Elite game as well as refined and new features that will blow them away.”

“We’re very excited to be working with 505 Games again on a sequel that will build on the highly successful Sniper Elite V2. We’ve got some great ideas to improve on what we did before and feedback from fans has been invaluable. Sniper Elite V2 was just the beginning of what we want to do with the franchise, there are things we didn’t have time to do before that we can really look at featuring this time. We want to focus on making this latest incarnation of Sniper Elite more of a sandbox game but also build on the awesome X-Ray Kill Cam and the atmospheric World War II setting. We’re looking forward to seeing what Sniper Elite fans and gamers in general make of the latest chapter in the story,” said Jason Kingsley, CEO, Rebellion.

The team is currently focusing on creating all-new environments, a more refined gameplay experience and a brand new storyline. Sniper Elite 3 is being developed for consoles and PC.

New Warhammer 40,000 TBS Game Planned

MCV has word on a Warhammer 40,000 turn-based strategy game in the works at Slitherine. Details are scant, but word is development is already underway. "This deal represents yet another testament to our continuous aim to reach new audiences, without losing sight of who we are and what we do best," says Slitherine chairman JD McNeil. "It's all about creating strategy games that are targeted to a particular audience and addressing a very specific need in the market. The Warhammer 40,000 setting is a perfect fit for the style of strategy games that we make and will be very popular with fantasy and science fiction fans alike. Joining forces with Games Workshop will allow us to bring an wonderfully deep and appropriate IP to the Turn Based Strategy genre." MCV also has word on free-to-play isometric 3D games based on Warhammer 40,000's Titans "incorporating single, multi-player and social gaming modes, delivering both single and chain mission tactical experiences across a broad platform range, including PC/Mac and tablets."

Impire Demo

Steam now features a playable demo for Impire, the impish empire strategy game from Cyanide. In related news, Paradox has also released a new video with a behind-the scenes-look at comedian John Pinette performing as the voice of the game's main character. Finally, Paradox announces the game is a Game Developers Conference 2013 Best in Play winner, and will be playable on the show floor.

TACTICAL INTERVENTION Open Beta

OG Planet now offers access to open beta testing of Tactical Intervention, the new first-person shooter from Counter-Strike co-creator Minh "Gooseman" Le. Open testing is expected to run from now until March 25th, followed by the game's official launch on March 28th. As noted on the game's Facebook page, testing is currently only offered in North America.

Ace of Spades Free Weekend

Jagex announces a free weekend in Ace of Spades, their voxel graphics multiplayer shooter, which can be played on Steam gratis between now and Sunday afternoon. The game is also on sale during that time for 50% off. Here's word:

Combine construction, combat and creativity to take out the enemy in an entirely destructible world this weekend! Ace of Spades will also be available half the normal price on Steam until Monday 17:00 GMT, so it’s the perfect time to experience Ace of Spades’ unique multiplayer mayhem for yourself.

Ace of Spades has proved hugely popular since it’s launch, firmly cemented itself as one of the most popular Steam titles, peaking at #1 on the Steam charts and has consistently featured in the global top 10 list for games under £7 since December last year.

Borderlands 2: New Content Details at PAX East; St. Paddy's Event This Weekend

Gearbox Software Community website has a new Mayhem Approaches teaser for Borderlands 2, warning a new vault hunter is coming to the role-playing shooter sequel, which will be further revealed at PAX East a week from Sunday (thanks nin). Word is: "For a look at this mysterious new vault hunter, details on the upcoming level cap increase and more, come check out the Gearbox Software panel at PAX East on 3/24/13 at 12:30pm ET in the Main Theatre!" Another update has word on special in-game events this weekend to celebrate the Luck of the Irish Zafords, with extra XP to be had and special green skins to download. Continue here to read the full story.

New Telepath Tactics Kickstarter

A new Kickstarter is underway for Telepath Tactics, renewing efforts at crowd-sourced fundraising for this game that didn't achieve its goals during its first campaign. The new effort is off to a strong start towards its modest goal, which may in part be attributable to a more focused marketing message, as here's how developer Sinister Design presents the game: "Telepath Tactics is pretty much the only game in town when it comes to Fire Emblem-style strategy RPG gameplay on PC, and it's definitely the only game in town that bundles that style of play with mod support, custom campaign support, and a host of environmental manipulation mechanics." If you are interested in a sample, this page offers a recently released alpha demo.

BioShock Infinite "False Shepherd" Trailer

Irrational Games now offers a new "False Shepherd" trailer from BioShock Infinite, Irrational's upcoming first-person shooter prequel. The clip give some of protagonist Booker DeWitt's back story and shows off plasmid-style Vigor powers, Elizabeth's conjuring abilities, zipline navigation, a big-daddy-ish boss, the dreaded face-chopping fan gun thingy, and more. Continue here to read the full story.

GRiD 2 Trailer

This trailer kicks off a new series on GRiD 2, the racing sequel in the works at Codemasters for release May 28th. The clip uses one of the game's characters to introduce locations and concepts from GRiD 2. Here's word: "In the video, Patrick Callahan outlines his plans for a new motorsports series and introduces players to two key racing clubs he needs to recruit as in-game footage showcases some of GRID 2’s American locations, including Street Racing in Chicago, Track Racing at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Road Racing at the dramatic California Coast. It is Callahan’s intention to bring the best drivers from different disciplines and styles from all over the world together to compete in one unified league and find the ultimate driving superstar. But to set up a new motorsports series, and get the rewards he craves, he needs a star. And that’s where the player comes in..." Continue here to read the full story.

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: SimCity: Noir Edition. Thanks Ant.

Alice 3 Possibilities Raised

American McGee has taken to Facebook to poll fans about their interest in supporting a Kickstarter for Alice 3, a new installment in Spicy Horse's take on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. This would not simply involve funding the game, but to also securing the rights to do create it. Here's word:

Alice Fans,
Questions for you:
1) If we could get the rights from EA, would you play "Alice 3?"
2) If you'd play "Alice 3," would you back it on Kickstarter?
3) If you said "yes" to those two things, make some noise - I'm trying to gauge interest in case I happen to discuss this with EA during GDC in 2 weeks. The more interest there is, the more seriously they'll take the conversation.

SimCity Hacked to Play Offline?

A new video on YouTube shows the work of UKAzzer, who has (apparently) intrepidly worked out how to play the new SimCity offline with some home hacking, in spite of EA's suggestions this would be a massive, if not impossible undertaking (thanks Videogamer). Here's word:

So with a little bit of package editing within SimCity, and a little playing about in the code, it's possible to enable debug mode. I linked the activation to the "Help Center" button in the main menu for ease. Most debug features are disabled without having an actual developer's build (they have terraforming tools etc. available in the full developer build!), but a few things do still work - including editing the main highways.

Not only that - but you can edit the highways ANYWHERE - even outside of your city boundary... and even if you quit the game and log back in later, it's all saved safely on the server.

This shows that highway editing will be easily possible, AND that editing outside of the artificially small city boundaries should be very viable too.

Other things I have modded out with a quick change: Unlimited time to remain disconnected (won't get booted at 20 minutes, can now be disconnected "forever"). Population count now shows REAL figure, not the "artificially inflated" figure. My large cities have a population of about 15k now, not 100k :P

New Thief's New Garrett Profiled

A feature on GameInformer offers a look at how Garrett is being redesigned for the upcoming revival of the Thief series, showing how Eidos Montréal is re-envisioning the game's protagonist, while being sensitive to fans who may not appreciate too drastic an overhaul. They have a video showing old and new Garrett artwork that features Nicolas Cantin and Steven Gallagher discusses their efforts, drawing comparisons with their work on the Altair character from the Assassins' Creed series.

Final Defiance Beta Event Next Week

Trion Worlds announces the Defiance will commence a third (and final) beta event next weekend, as they prepare this TV tie-in MMORPG for release. Players can guarantee a spot in the Windows beta by preordering the game through Steam, and word is Trion will also be offering beta access to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 editions of the game, with exact details on console testing to follow. Here's word:

Participants in Advanced Mission Beta 3 will get to play as Ark Hunters. Genetically enhanced with unique abilities and armed to the hilt with a variety of unique alien and human weaponry boasting thousands of upgrade options, Ark Hunters are fearless operatives who scour the Earth competing for alien technology against all odds for vast rewards.

The final beta, which is not representative of the final game, will let players explore the Mt. Tam and Madera regions with co-op battles on Angel Island and the Cronkhite Bunker. For Ark Hunters looking to test their might in some competitive multiplayer action, the Freight yard and Observatory will provide opportunities to prove themselves worthy of Von Bach Industries’ recruitment.

WoW Free Character Moves

The World of Warcraft Website offers toons on certain realms a free one-way trip to a less populated realm. Players on Tichondrius can move to Blackrock, those on Illidan can switch to Mannoroth, while Stormrage players are offered the chance to move to Trollbane. Here's word:

New Free Character Moves are now available. If you're on one of the source realms listed below, you can move your characters to one of the designated destination realms and avoid the queues -- for free!

By initiating one of these transfers, you will be moving your character to a new realm and home. This is a one-time, one-way move. If you wish to move your character elsewhere, you will need to use the paid transfer service.

Please be aware that, due to the unpredictable nature of free transfers, we may close down any Free Character Moves at any time and without warning if the target realm becomes full. If you plan to move with friends or your guild, we suggest that you coordinate the effort to reduce the chance of any stragglers being left behind.

Early closures aside, this set of Free Character Moves will end on Thursday, March 21.

Begin a Free Character Move now! We recommend reviewing the FAQ, as it details what is or isn't allowed for transferred characters.

Minecraft Optional Subscription Mode Plans

GamesIndustry International has details from a Swedish report indicating Mojang is working on a Minecraft Realms mode for their indie hit Minecraft, as a way for parents to allow their kids to play without the potential hazards they could be exposed to on independently administered game servers. Mojang CEO Carl Manneh speculates this may actually generate more income than the game has already earned, and here's an outline of how this will work:

Subscribers will be given their own self-contained world, with full control over who has access and their friends list. Only one person per world will need a Realms account, and anyone invited to join will need a copy of Minecraft and an internet connection.

The price of the subscription has not been set, but Mojang has indicated that it will be between $10 and $15 a month. It also intends to issue special pre-paid cards for those with no access to credit cards. Ultimately, Manneh believes that Realms has the potential to open up Minecraft to new players, and, in the long-term, become as strong a source of revenue as Minecraft itself.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

  • ASUS Vivobook S500CA 15.6 inch Ultrabook on Legit Reviews.
  • Cooler Master Silent Pro Platinum 1000-Watt 80 PLUS Platinum Power Supply on TweakTown.
  • CPU Air Cooler Roundup on AnandTech.
  • Creative MA930 Smartphone Performance Headset on Technic3D. In German.
  • Edifier Predator e1100 MKII Multimedia Speaker System on MEGATechNews.
  • Gigabyte Z77X-UD4H Motherboard on ThinkComputers.org.
  • HP ENVY 4 TouchSmart (ENVY 4-1102xx) Ultrabook on Custom PC Review.
  • Leetgion El Druin game mouse on Guru3D.
  • MadCatz F.R.E.Q.5 Red PC Headset on eTeknix.
  • NVIDIA GTX TITAN vs. SLI & Crossfire on Hardware Canucks.
  • Patriot Gauntlet Node Portable Wireless Enclosure on Bigbruin.com.
  • Razer Blackwidow Ultimate 2013 gaming keyboard on RBMODS.
  • Sennheiser PC 350 SE Gaming Headset on Hardware Heaven.
  • Solidata K8 1920E 2TB SSD on The SSD Review.

etc.

Out of the Blue

Happy Pi Day! Please be safe from wandering into traffic and other hazards while distracted by reciting it to thousands of decimal places. Otherwise, enjoy your little slice of π.

π Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Raft Wars 2.
Stories: 'Medieval knight' unearthed in Edinburgh car park dig. Tis' but a scratch!
Prison agents catch parolee near LA after 32 years.
Science: Physicists say they have found a Higgs boson.
Neurotrack to Detect Alzheimer's Wins SXSW Prize. Thanks Slashdot.
Monarch butterflies drop ominously in Mexico.
Media: Apocalypse DayZ - Episode 1. NSFW. Awesome.
Taekwondo Spiderman. Thanks reddit.
Gordon Ramsey - How To Treat A Lady NSFW.



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